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Vintage 3v Motor Brushes


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Hi folks,

I have a question, but should introduce myself first.


       I recently turned 70 and decided to go through my collection of hundreds of pre-1980 robots, space toys, German wind-up

and Japanese batt op toys to check condition and figure out what to do with them.  Most have been in storage for over 30 years and Ive begun

a space-toy version of what a recent TV show called, "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning".  In other words, I need to get them to
loving homes before they find themselves orphaned and out on the sidewalk.  With no takers on my proposed reality show, "Be My Heir",

taking inventory and making repairs gives me time to think what to do with some pretty sweet stuff.  (I'll start posting photos to the Member's Gallery soon) 

So far, Ive been able to waken and clean the first few toys including a; Technofix Terra Luna; Nomura 2-stage Rocket Launching Station; Cragston

Satellite in Orbit; Nomura Version 3 Zoomer; and Alps Television Spaceman.

     Next up was a well-loved Linemar Telephone Bear that I had on my desk many years ago until it died.

I tested the connections, cleaned it, etc, but couldn't get much more than a weak pulse. The motor had to drive a bell, a light,  head and arm movements and his "voice".

A lot of work for a 60-year-old one inch engine.  I finally removed the cardboard wiring tab and saw that the two connected brushes looked pretty shot. The seem to just hang down with one

a bit longer than the other.

I'm not sure what to do next. I don't think I have a parts toy with that motor, and so far haven't found a motor on line with the same cardboard-type wire connection/brush configuration.

        And to be honest, I'm not super excited/confident about removing the old motor and replacing it.


Any thoughts? I assume the brushes are damaged? Could I find a replacement for the connection piece/brushes?  Or make some?

Thank you!




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Maybe making or repairing brushes, is not the way to go?

Would anyone be able to tell if the motor used in an oldie like this would be available on line somewhere?

And what make or model to look for?:Thanks!

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Hopefully John Rigg sees this and can give some advice.


Meanwhile, we loved to see pics of your collection sometime. Good luck on homing them.

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Hi Peter,


Perhaps if you have an old small dc motor you can remove the existing brushes and manipulate them to fit. Like the ones in the below (crappy) photo - although these may be a bit short.



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Yes the lower brush in the picture is damaged and will need to be replaced. Junker toys are the best source for motor brushes. Old battery op dogs and a good source for low cost junker motors. If you find one from the 1950's or 1960's it might have the same type fiber board mounted brushes that you could just us as is. Otherwise you will have to do some mods on newer brushes to fit or replace the motor if you can find a junker that has the same basic dimensions.

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Thank you for your help... saves me a lot of time monkeying around...

Since I'm doing inventory and inspection of my collection, I'll keep an eye out for junkers I can use.

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I would think you could make your own out of phosphor bronze if nothing turns up from an old toy. You can get sheets of it from some of the hobby, or industrial supply companies.


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I have another question about this motor... What is that orange/brown material that the wire and brushes are soldered to?

It reminds me of old gasket material... It looks like the same material used for the noisemaker on the right of photo, but stiffer.

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Fiber board. It was used in battery box's of vintage toys as well. The brushes are crimped to the fiber board threw small slots in the fiber board the solder is just to hold the wires to the brushes.

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